407Joined Dec 2018


Community Builders Spend Too Much Time Community Building

Relatedly to time, I wish we knew more about how much money is spent on community building. It might be very surprising! (hint hint)

A Critical Review of Open Philanthropy’s Bet On Criminal Justice Reform

Sorry I did not realize that OP doesn't solicit donations from non megadonors. I agree this  recontextualizes how we should interpret transparency.

 Given the lack of donor diversity, tho, I am confused why their cause areas would be so diverse.  

A Critical Review of Open Philanthropy’s Bet On Criminal Justice Reform

Well this is still confusing to me

in the case of criminal justice reform, there were some key facts of the decision-making process that aren’t public and are unlikely to ever be public

Seems obviously true and in fact a continued premise of your post is that there are key facts absent that could explain or fail to explain one decision or the other. Is this particularly true in crminal justice reform? Compared to IDK orgs like AMF (which are hyper transparent by design) maybe, compared to stuff around AI risk I think not.


My guess is that a “highly intelligent idealized utilitarian agent” probably would have invested a fair bit less in criminal justice reform than OP did, if at all.

This is like the same thesis as your post, does not actually convey much information (it is what anyone I assume would have already guessed Ozzie thought). 


I think we can rarely fully trust the public reasons for large actions by large institutions. When a CEO leaves to “spend more time with family”, there’s almost always another good explanation. I think OP is much better than most organizations at being honest, but I’d expect that they still face this issue to an extent. As such, I think we shouldn’t be too surprised when some decisions they make seem strange when evaluating them based on their given public explanations.

Yeah I mean, no kidding. But it's called Open Philanthropy. It's easy to imagine there exists a niche for a meta-charity with high transaparency and visibility. It also seems clear that Open Philanthropy advertises as a fulfillment of this niche as much as possible and that donors do want this. So when their behavior seems strange in a cause area and the amount of transparency on it is very low, I think this is notable, even if the norm among orgs is to obfuscate internal phenomena. So I don't rlly endorse any normative takeaway from this point about how orgs usually obfuscate information. 

Fønix: Bioweapons shelter project launch

We are currently at around 50 ideas and will hit 100 this summer.


This seems like a great opportunity to sponsor a contest on the forum.

Also, there is an application out there for running polls where users make pairwise comparisons over items in a pool and a ranking is imputed. It's not necessary for all pairs to be compared, the system scales with a high number of alternatives. I don't remember what it's called, it was a research project presented by a group when I was in college. I do think it could be a good way to extract a ranking from a crowd (alternative to upvotes / downvotes and other stuff). If you are super excited about this then I can spend some time at some point trying to hunt it down. 

Your approach to exploring solutions is neat. Good luck.

One idea I think I would suggest would be trying to bring personal doomsday solutions to market that actually work super well / upgrading the best-available option somehow. 

Fønix: Bioweapons shelter project launch

It cracks me up that this is the first comment you've ever gotten posting here, it really is not the norm. 

Fønix: Bioweapons shelter project launch

The comment is using what I call “EA rhetoric” which has sort of evolved on the forum over the years, where posts and comments are padded out with words and other devices. To the degree this is intended to evasive, this is further bad as it harms trust. These devices are perfectly visible to outsiders.


I agree that this has evolved on the forum over the years and it is driving me insane. Seems like a total race to the bottom to appear as the most thorough thinker. You're also right to point out that it is completely visible to outsiders. 

A Critical Review of Open Philanthropy’s Bet On Criminal Justice Reform

It's interesting that you say that given what is in my eyes a low amount of content in this comment. What is a model or model-extracted part that you liked in this comment?

New cause area: bivalve aquaculture

Decent discussion on Twitter, especially from @MichaelDello

To me the biggest challenge in assessing impact is empirical question of how much any supply increase in meat or meat-like stuff leads to replacement of other meat. But this would apply as well to accepted cause areas of meat replacers and cell culture.

New cause area: bivalve aquaculture

Substitution is unclear. In my experience it's very clear that scallop is served as a main course protein in contexts where the alternative is clearly fish, or most often shrimp. So insofar that substitution occurs, we'd mainly see substitution of shrimp and fish. 

However, it is not clear how much substitution of meat in fact occurs at all as supply increases. People generally seem to like eating meat and meat-like stuff. I don't know data here but meat consumption is globally on the rise.

New cause area: bivalve aquaculture,bivalves%20do%20in%20fact%20swim

I found this discussion interesting. To me it seems like they feel aversion -- not sure how that is any different from suffering -- so it is just a question of "how much?". 

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